Written by attorney Elisabeth K. H. Pasqualini

How Can the Police Prove I Was Possessing with the Intent to Sell?

Possession with the intent to deliver may be inferred from the circumstances. However, it still must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has made clear that a defendant charged under 35 P.S. § 780-113(a)(30) must, among others, be shown to have had the intent to deliver the substance beyond a reasonable doubt. This intent may be inferred from the possession of large quantities of a controlled substance. In contrast, where the quantity possessed is a small amount, consistent with that which may be found on the person of a drug user, such an inference is unwarranted. In close cases, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has held, expert opinion evidence may be needed by the Commonwealth to establish the intent to deliver.

Other factors helping to establish an inference of the intent to deliver, in the court's view, are:

  • evidence of defendant's activity prior to his arrest (was there 'transactional activity' witnessed?);
  • the lack of drug-related paraphernalia for ingestion;
  • possesion of cell phones, pagers, guns, weapons, and large bills or denominations consistent with 'street level dealing';
  • defendant's inculpatory statements;
  • the absence of "track marks" on defendant indicating heroin use; and
  • any recent activity observed that suggests prior dealing.

If you've been charged with ** Possession with Intent to Sell, Distribute or Manufacture a controlled substance, hire an attorney before speaking to the police. ** Drug penalties are getting more severe every day. Do not wait until it's too late. You may call ** Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or ** email us today.

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